Google Changing The OEM Agreement for Android to Require Regular Security Updates

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Google is taking another step forward when it comes to manufactures and Android security updates.  In a session at Google I/O this week, the company indicated that changes would be coming soon to the OEM agreement for Android, requiring more regular security updates.  While the exact details weren’t laid out in the session nor what is meant by “regular”, it is clear that Google is trying to make sure that manufactures keep devices up to date with the latest security updates.

This also, in a roundabout way, would encourage manufactures to offer the latest versions of Android as the security updates are regular on the new versions.

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Google Photos to Get AI-Driven Suggestions for Photo Sharing and Enhancements

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Google Photos is arguably one of the most popular and successful apps that Google has produced today.  But that success is not stopping the company from continue to develop and push Artificial Intelligence – which is already deep inside photos – even further.  Today at I/O, Google announced that Photos will be gaining several AI-driven suggestion features and the ability to add color to black & white photos.

The new suggestions will be based on the content of the photos and the overall quality of them.  If there are pictures of friends for example which are identified by Google Photos, you could see a suggestion to share those photos with that person.  Likewise, if a photo can be enhanced, the suggestions will give you one-tap ability to enhance the photo to improve it.

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Rumored Google News Revamp Would Mean The End of Play Newsstand

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An interesting rumor has surfaced just days before Google I/O 2018 about the future of Google News and Play Newsstand.  In a post on AdAge, It is reported that News will become the flagship news service for the Mountain View company, integrating video elements and digital magazines into a single app.  It will mean that Play Newsstand, where digital magazines are currently kept in the Google ecosystem, will be deprecated at some point.

The news is interesting as it reflects a broader effort by Google to streamline their app portfolio to be less congested and confusing for consumers.  Taking this news in balance along with the expected revamp of Google Play Music and YouTube, Google is moving more to the “Google” brand and away from the “Play” brand.  This has already happened with the company moving away from “Android” branding products too.

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Google I/O Schedule Points to Heavy Android and Google Assistant Presence

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Google has released the first schedule for this year’s Google I/O event in Mountain View and it is evident that Android and Google Assistant are going to be the headliners.  The schedule has multiple Android and Assistant events over the three-day conference with everything from advanced coding sessions to general information sessions.

Some of the events slated for I/O include:

  • 10 tips for building better actions (Google Assistant)
  • An introduction to developing Actions for the Google Assistant
  • Build an AR app with the Poly Toolkit for Unity (Android)
  • What’s new in Android Wear

That’s just a few of the dozens of sessions on tap.

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Google I/O 2018 Tickets Go On Sale February 22nd

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If you are aiming to get to Google I/O 2018, your first important date is February 22nd. That is when ticket sales begin at 10:00 AM Pacific which is more-or-less a ticket into the lottery to be selected.

The lottery system has been the method Google has used for the past several years as there are always far more developers interested in attending than there is space for them to attend. To attempt to make it fair, you sign up starting the 22nd and if you are selected, you complete your registration. That is, you pay for your ticket.

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Google I/O 2018 Set for May 8-10 at The Shoreline Amphitheater

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Google has refreshed the official Google I/O 2018 site with the developer event set to take place May 8-10 at the Shoreline Amphitheater.  The location marks the third straight year that it the conference will be held at Shoreline, literally across the street from the Google main campus in Mountain View, California.

The Google I/O 2018 site update uses Street View to give you clues to unlock more detailed information about the event.  Once you have unlocked all the locks, four in all, you will be at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

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